Shape Up: Family Style is a free program offered by the South Dakota State University-Children, Youth, and Families At Risk project in both Brookings and Corson Counties. Shape Up: Family Style is free to families with children ages 4-14 who have a family history of certain health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart conditions, etc. or meet set income guidelines. The focus of the project is to help families increase their physical activity levels and improve nutritional intake, through structured educational sessions, which will help lower the risk for diabetes or obesity in children.
Family Fitness Fun Nights occur twice a month. Family Fitness Fun Nights are an opportunity for participating families to come together to learn ways to increase physical activity levels while playing games in a group setting. Family Fitness Fun Nights are similar to an elementary school PE class for both parent and child. Children and parents learn teamwork building, hand/eye coordination, reasoning, decision-making, listening, and communication skills, as well as the different health benefits of doing certain activities. The primary focus of the Family Fitness Fun Nights is to encourage parents to achieve the goal of 30 minutes of physical activity with their child.
Cooking with Your Kids occur four times during the year. Cooking with Your Kids is an opportunity for children to take an active role improving their nutrition consumption. Children, and parents, learn how to choose healthier types of foods by reading nutrition fact labels, learn what a correct portion size is for them, along with how to store and prepare food safely. As a family, the child and parent prepare and sample a variety of healthier meals. Cooking with Your Kids is exactly as it sounds a chance for the child to take an active role in selecting, preparing, and consuming healthier foods. To participate in these sessions neither parent nor child needs to be experienced in the kitchen.
4-H Afterschool sessions occur once a month at Medary Great Afterschool Program (GAP), Brookings; Before and After School Education (BASE), Volga; and at the Friday School, McLaughlin. The 4-H Afterschool sessions are a combination of the Family Fitness Fun Nights and the Cooking with Your Kids sessions. Children are divided into two groups; for part of the session one group will learn about nutrition while the other group participates in physical activity. Halfway through the 4-H Afterschool session the children will change groups, allowing all of the children to participate in some physical activity and learn about nutrition and health issues. Once completed, as a group the children prepare a healthy snack to enjoy.